These conclusions are a general synthesis and are validated by the Scientific Committee out of the most repeated ideas of the debates that have taken place during the development of the Conference.
The 6th International EDO 20 Conference was held in Barcelona on November 11th, 12th and 13th 2020 under the theme “The new knowledge management”. It has been affected by the global pandemic, which required moving the initial date of May 2020, proposing a mixed face-to-face and virtual version and, finally, developing in a totally virtual way. However, the published program has been maintained in its entirety, being enriched with a section of thematic conversations dedicated to the new learning culture, as well as with the publication and delivery of the complete documentation at the beginning of each session.
312 experts and specialists on the subject, mainly from all over Spain and Latin America, have actively participated in the four central conferences, the 11 symposia, the 6 workshops and the 7 communications panels and posters, analyzing and debating the 112 contributions selected from the 179 submitted. So have 920 followers who on average have participated in the Congress Twitter and hundreds of other followers on Facebook and Instagram.
The most significant general conclusions related to the objectives of the Conference, linked to the exchange of experiences and good practices on the new approaches and strategies used in the processes of creation and management of collective knowledge, the promotion of conversation and informal learning in the job position, the new learning formats, collective intelligence and social participation in the development of professionals and their organizations and the key role of people in the development of society based on a better functioning of organizations, are the following:
- The general conclusion of previous conferences is reiterated, remarking: “Today's society continues to consider the knowledge and continuous training of workers and all citizens as strategic elements of organizations. Links become more and more evident and necessary, if we consider that people are a source of knowledge that shared can help their improvement and also organizations and society”.
Regarding the innovation and operation of organizations
- It is reiterated, as in the 2018 Conference, that organizations that focus on the needs of citizens and their internal and external users and achieve their active involvement, in addition to achieving organizational improvements and learning management, are a source of creativity, innovation and generate social value. The challenge for today's organizations is, and continues to be, to take advantage of and properly manage people's knowledge, promoting informal learning and enhancing networking and learning communities.
The theoretical development on innovation, change and organizational development is robust and its theoretical and epistemological foundations have a broad and contrasted path; However, innovative practices as well as, improvement and development practices are much scarcer and with more modest results and, in most cases, they are less formalized. A divorce between discourse and institutional practices is evident in this area.
Organizational culture is a key factor in any change process. The training and development of strategies related to knowledge management that favor relationships, interactions and communications between the members of the organization can favor the change process.
The current complexity of public governance makes us pose new challenges in organizations and, of course, in public administrations. In this sense, administrations must continue to bet on incorporating innovation in their structures and processes in order to provide new and diverse forms and strategies to deal more effectively and efficiently with present and future social remains, recognizing the importance of collective exchange of knowledge.
Regarding the conditions of organizational change
- The advancement of a more digitized society is associated with the transformation of jobs, the development of new skills, knowledge management and the incorporation of ways of working that include a collaborative culture and work skills in self-managed teams.
- The new situation requires the promotion of communities of professional practice, work based on challenges and projects, and a transformation in the conception of leadership. The specificity of the public function should never obviate, either, the codes referring to the purpose of its activity, entrepreneurship, humility and fraternity.
- Specifically, the modifications that the pandemic situation has imposed on organizations must be reviewed and analyzed, assuming new ways of making effective that have allowed us to respond to situations of high uncertainty that have occurred and will occur in future. In this regard, the role of digital technologies in the management of organizations and in the development of hybrid organizations is highlighted, helping to create organizational learning ecosystems that integrate content, agents and resources in a functional way.
Regarding the role of the creation and management of collective knowledge
- Despite the existing development of models and strategies for the creation and management of collective knowledge, there is the perception that a more effective governance model is still missing so that the experiences are more sustainable over time, an analysis already shared in the previous EDO2018 Conference.
- The added value of learning that takes place in social contexts is highlighted. This learning cannot be understood only from cognition but also from emotion (involvement of the whole person). The social learning spaces must take care of the difference, participate in the uncertainty and pay attention to the exchange processes, being their interaction what allows unlearning and relearning, favoring the generation of new knowledge.
- The key factors considered for the new Knowledge Management to work are:
- The people who are part of the organization "believe in it", therefore, to have faith in it. Especially the ones in the managerial positions.
- The attitude of the members of the organization who are “hungry to know and to share”
- The existence of collaboration, as an expression of an established and shared culture based on trust between people.
- Transdisciplinarity of knowledge, opposed to isolated data.
- Tools are needed, but they are not the most important part of it.
- The contribution of Knowledge Management to the improvement and innovation processes of educational organizations is unquestionable. However, there are few practical and empirical contributions that, from the educational field, try to advance in a better understanding of this type of strategies, both from the management and organization of educational centers, and from the didactic perspective.
- Technologies, social networks and the digital competence of teachers and students constitute an essential element for the promotion of Knowledge Management and, consequently, for the development of competencies consistent with social demands. Some analysis and experiences highlight the virtues of transferring the moderation function of KM networks and communities to the classroom, thus allowing to promote learning experiences, greater dialogue and interactivity among students, as well as demonstrating the need to share in order to build together knowledge as a playful process.
- At the strategic level, it is important to consider the meaning and value of the conversation, its promotion within organizations, and the conditions that make this tool for learning and organizational transformation possible.
- The influence of leaders in talent management is fundamental, as already mentioned in the EDO2018 Conference, as long as they act as change managers, including a positive attitude towards it, strategic vision, effective leadership and permanent processes of review of the actions and results they achieve.
- It is clear that the Management profession passes through various stages. Managers pass through them depending on the degree of maturity and the conditions of each organizational context. Its effectiveness is linked to its own performance, but also to the work environment, related to the increase of empathy and work in the development of skills of acceptance of difference, warmth and authenticity in relationships, and the personal well-being that it can enable.
- The Conference has helped to review the functioning of the communities of practice and other ways to promote and organize collective knowledge with new proposals for the creation and management of knowledge linked to conversations, new methodologies (knowledge fairs, knowledge mosaic, use of bigdata, integrate fragmented learning, the role of social media managers, self-assessment and collaborative learning, etc.), new actors (knowledge managers, curators or others), the learning of successful organizations and the development of formative ecosystems. Deep down, we constantly wonder about what makes it easier for us to learn in different ways than what we have traditionally used.
- The new knowledge management incorporates the management of Artificial Intelligence and, specifically, the ethical considerations linked to its design and development. Algorithms are not always well designed, or well used, and have negative consequences, which must be interpreted as errors in intelligent systems. Although ethical principles are often stressed in the use of AI, it is obvious that ethics actually belongs to the people and organizations that design and implement AI systems. In this sense, the Artificial Intelligence-Human Intelligence relationship must be considered and reviewed.
- Nowadays, we are all content curators, but those who do it in a professional or structured way must be so from the perspective of having values that allow them to make their selections with criteria, becoming a true antenna of knowledge. All areas of knowledge should have a content curator; Also, the institutions and, without a doubt, the training centers also should promote having an Edutuber.
- Lifelong learning takes away meaning from age groups and generational collectives, recognizing the importance of their integration from collective projects on challenges and problems, which seek the interaction of talent with different levels of experience and knowledge.
- The individual and collective self-regulation of professionals and, specifically, of teachers constitute a key strategy in their professional development, contributing directly to their motivation, well-being and professional performance and, indirectly, to the improvement of educational organizations and of the systems that protect them.
- What is stated in the conclusions of EDO2018 is ratified: “Social networks facilitate and promote participation and de-hierarchization but their maximum usefulness occurs when they exceed their conception as a space for relationship and information exchange to become a propitious context for the creation and collective knowledge management. Its use by organizations promotes open innovation, suggested and fed by users. Thanks to forums, knowledge banks, good practices or other alternatives, the socialization of existing knowledge is facilitated while new proposals are generated".
- Technologies and their use in and outside the training classroom are changing our way of understanding learning processes and the importance of informal learning. Also, the effect they have on learning processes and outcomes. In this sense, Google and YouTube can be mentioned as tools for the subjects of Science, Spanish and English.
- The current pandemic situations and conditions serve as the basis for thinking that organizational relationships and practices (therefore, also school and tertiary ones) will have to be organized in a mixed way (hybrids, ‘blended learning’). This will generate a leading role in the realities of connectivity of the different social groups. In this way, the gaps and differences may widen, and, in this regard, it would be necessary to insist on more equitable criteria at the level of States and organizations, avoiding as much as possible new illiteracy.
- Imagining the future of post-pandemic training organizations requires considering trainers in an increasingly important way. Indeed, to the knowledge and face-to-face support that were provided to the participants in the training so that they could develop their learning, high levels of knowledge and practice in digital technologies must be added, as well as socio-emotional strength and a high empowerment of the student orientation and tutoring processes.
- The role of the teachers’ inquiry competence and the formation of a reflective attitude for organizational improvement, for the generation of knowledge from practice and from action research in the classroom, is debated. The need to train research competence in the initial training of teachers and through ongoing training processes such as the center training plan is emphasized.
Finally, we want to emphasize again that the new realities require a collaborative institutional and professional process between the social, productive and academic sectors, of which the present EDO2020 Conference is a good proof.
Scientific Committee of EDO Conference
Barcelona, 13th November 2020